Ok, I admit to some creative license with the title of this article. Perhaps the “The Land of [Would Be] Champions” may have been a hair more accurate, as a title. However, no denying it, from international surfing championship competitions to the subject of this article, the upcoming Adventure Racing World Championship, Ecuador is increasingly hosting more and more international championship sporting events. A true land of champions in the making.
Inspired by the President Rafael Correa Administration’s push for enhanced tourism, Ecuador is opening the door, and wide, to international sporting events, which attract tourism dollars and international recognition. In this instance, Ecuador is going a bit off the beaten path – quite literally – to attract a little known, but fascinating global championship sporting event. The 7th Annual Adventure Racing World Championship will arrive in Ecuador between November 9-17, 2014. The rugged outdoorsman sporting competition will include a minimum of 70 teams, from at least 30 countries, all which will vie for the top spot honor, in proving that they are truly the world’s most adventuresome champions.
The event will cover a total distance of 700 kilometers, traversing through a minimum of three Ecuadorean Provinces. The competition is expected to draw over 300 sporting enthusiasts, who will compile statistical best points in such sporting events as extreme mountain biking, rough water kayaking, cliff side rappelling and long distance outdoor trekking. The road to just qualify for this global championship is equally grueling, as competing teams have to qualify through ten challenging and exhausting global events held between March and August each year.
Ecuador immediately benefits, as the host country, from the impact of collecting over $3 million USD, just from the arrival of the participants, families, friends and loyal supporters. This financial impact doesn’t even begin to consider the tourism impact from the general global fan base of the competition, the raised awareness of Ecuador’s pristine and enchanting wildlife terrain, as well as the global promotion of Ecuador as a destination site for international sporting event competitions. The Minister of Tourism for Ecuador, the honorable Vinicio Alvarado, noted, “Just from the athletic competitors and their entourage, we will have 700 captive persons, who will remain in Ecuador for a minimum of ten days, which is why my office strongly supports such initiatives.”
The Ecuadorean national team, competing in the event, is know as the “Ecuador Explorers” team. Their best placement, thus far, in this international competition, has been 11th place. Last competing together, in this same event, in Costa Rica, 2013, the Ecuadorean team showed promise in navigating brutally rugged terrain, which often saw them traveling lengths of 200 kilometers or more daily. The team’s captain, Santiago Miño, noted, “We achieved a strong and major participation in the event”, referring to the team’s showing in Costa Rica. Santiago and his crew are hoping that the home field advantage will dramatically improve their personal best 11th place showing. Certainly crowning a native champion, on home turf, would be sweet, indeed.
For our readership, it would be an ideal event to witness and an exceptional time of year to discover Ecuador. For any EscapeArtist Ecuador readers, interested in attending the event, we can assist you with making arrangements. Please, simply contact us at the form below, mention preferred arrival and departure dates, as well as the number of members in your travel party. An exclusive EscapeArtist Ecuador travel affiliate will handle everything for you. Who knows, maybe you will get to witness the first Ecuadorean champions arise from the 7th Annual Adventure Racing World Championship competition. While I can’t promise the former, I can certainly promise you’ll have a great time while visiting Ecuador. If you head on down, perhaps we will see each other at the event. No, I won’t be participating by any stretch, but I will be that guy with the cigar in one hand, martini glass in the other, cheering rather loudly.
Won’t you come join me?